Whilst the men were away fighting a number of my great, great aunt’s friends, who were all young women between 18 and 25 years of age, corresponded with one another by postcard, many of which show contemporary cartoons. They sent them for birthdays and to cheer one another up as well as to discuss every day life. The messages they wrote on the postcards were very basic and said very little, but I understand they developed a code to share messages, for example about news they had from soldiers overseas, or about other matters they did not want either the postman or the censor to see.
The Great War Archive
explore the collection
The Great War Archive contains over 6,500 items contributed by the general public between March and June 2008. Every item originates from, or relates to, someone's experience of the First World War, either abroad or at home. Contributions were received via a special website and also through a series of open days at libraries and museums throughout the country.
Share your stories
The model developed by the Great War Archive has since been used by other initiatives. We are currently working on the Europeana 1914-1918 project to gather further stories and memorabilia from the First World War. Anyone who wants to share their stories or images can do so via the multi-lingual website at http://europeana1914-1918.eu. Public open days are being held across Europe.
The original Great War Archive initiative accepted contributions until June 2008. After that, people have been invited to share images that they have by posting them to The Great War Archive Flickr Group. To post to the group you will need to set up a free Flickr account.
Many thanks to all those who have contributed to this initiative and assisted in our open days.
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The Great War Archive was highly commended at the Times Higher Educational Awards 2008 for 'Outstanding ICT Initiative'